Wanna Learn Percussive Fingerstyle Guitar?
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 1:53PM
Az Samad in Guitar Lessons, Guitar Lessons in Bangsar, Guitar Lessons in Kuala Lumpur, acoustic fingerstyle guitar

Imagine having the creative freedom to play all those amazing percussive fingerstyle guitar music you’ve seen - without spending hours of frustration figuring out difficult techniques on your own while watching a video on YouTube...

I know how it feels to be stuck. I’ve spent years gigging, writing music, touring, performing at festivals and still felt like I didn’t know anything. Then, I met a guitar teacher who would shape my musical direction for the next five years.. Suddenly, I was inspired and studying with him open up new possibilities for me.

That wasn’t the only time. Every once in awhile, I would meet a teacher that would make me see things from a different perspective. He or she would make me find creative ways to make music. Improvise. Compose. Perform. Go to the next level.

I have to say that I was one of the lucky ones. Many of these teachers are just not accessible to most people. The problem is most of the time, these teachers are scattered all around the world. Hectic touring and teaching schedules. But, I was so adamant with the desire to learn - that i searched for them. I would read guitar magazines, books, go to guitar forums and later YouTube for hours. I found the best guitarists. I researched who they studied with. Then, I looked for these world class music educators.

And found them.

I’ve studied with world-class musician-educators from the UK, Austria, Boston, New York, San Francisco, Germany, Russia and more. I’ve taken private lessons, workshops, college classes, Skype lessons and masterclasses.

What I learned in the end was something that no singular music school in the world could have taught me.

Now, what if instead of travelling all the way across the world (what I did) - you could study and learn how to play guitar like that, right here in Kuala Lumpur?

What if you didn't have to travel the world to access this exact world-class music education?

Imagine if you could...

Basically, you’ll have the freedom to create better, more creative music. And you’ll have fun!

As a guitarist-educator, I’ve often met many guitarists who have amazing enthusiasm, passion and musicality. Many of them however face the frustration of not being able to get the sound they have in their head out onto guitar. And as such, their music growth feels stunted.

At first, I began by helping show some ways of developing their skills, or another way to make their song more interesting...

...after a while, I realised, that it’s better to give the creative freedom to the guitarist, so you can explore your own music, style and expression on your own. After all, I remember, that was the biggest value I received from the best teachers I learned from.

So, based on my experience and the frustrations of the guitarists whom I’ve met and worked with, I’ve put together a music curriculum unlike any other. It’s seriously nothing you can find in any other conventional music school, that I can guarantee, cause I know. I’ve been there!

The Only Contemporary Fingerstyle Guitar Curriculum Specifically Designed for Aspiring Guitarist-Composers

Whether you’ve just starting to get into fingerstyle playing, or already been learning songs, learning modern fingerstyle guitar will open avenues to take your music growth to new levels!

You will learn:

You will get SIX jam-packed 2-hour sessions where you’ll learn a whole integrated approach to fingerstyle guitar. You will also learn how to work on posture and relaxed playing techniques, so you’ll avoid that dreaded tendinitis injury (which is not fun when you have a performance, right?)

In this course, you’ll learn percussive fingerstyle guitar techniques used by guitarists such as Michael Hedges, Andy McKee, Eric Roche, Thomas Leeb, and Jon Gomm. 

We will start from the very basics, uncovering the different percussion sounds available on the instrument, play basic guitar drum grooves, and learn how different guitarists exploit these textures in their pieces.

Combined with alternate tunings, harmonics and other cool guitar tricks, you'll learn how to incorporate these ideas in your own music, arrangements and performances!

I will break down our sessions to focus on THREE core skill areas that will lay the foundation for your creative fingerstyle guitar freedom.

When you enroll in the course, you will learn...

Picture yourself making music with percussive guitar techniques, grooves, harmonics that will transform your playing. Imagine all the songs you will write with your expanded palette of sound. Won’t it be fun to hear yourself playing like the very acoustic guitarists you love? 

But, this is not just a techniques class! Technique alone makes for flashy acrobatics for your fans but to really move people, you need more than just this. So, you’ll also learn...

Be able to play in DADGAD, a useful alternate tuning that will give you new ideas for your arrangements and original compositions.  (My compositions are all either in DADGAD or standard EADGBE tuning!) 

Imagine being able to play a melody, different harmonic colors and really understand what you can do on the guitar! I’ll show you specific concepts that will give freedom to find music you’ve been hearing in your head on your guitar!

Still, it can be overwhelming on your own to find a way to combine all this new knowledge that you will learn...

Have you ever seen a guitarist who’s amazing technically but when you hear their composition, it sounds like a bunch of random ideas stringed together? 

Don’t be that person! 

When you study with me, you will learn how to avoid that. 

I will show you techniques that I learned while studying Jazz Composition at Berklee College of Music AND how you can use it in your very own fingerstyle guitar compositions!

In fact, at the end of the 3-month course, you will have composed at least one complete original fingerstyle guitar composition! And... if you’re up for the challenge, you might even write more with all the new knowledge that you will learn!

Here's a composition written by one of my students, Lai Ze Ren after he completed the course:

How will you learn all this?

You’ll get a custom designed course which is a culmination of my 14 years of teaching experience. This material combines what I learned from my 6 and a half years in the US* and the clinics, private lessons and guitar workshops in the UK and Austria studying with master fingerstyle guitarists such as Eric Roche, Thomas Leeb, Alex de Grassi, Jon Gomm, Don Ross, Stuart Ryan, Teja Gerken, Peter Finger, Jacques Stotzem, Steve Baughman and Vicki Genfan!

* at Berklee College of Music (both as a student and later a faculty member of the Summer Guitar Sessions) and San Jose State University. 

Here’s what one of the students who completed the Percussive Guitar Course had to say:

"I've gained a better playing sound from Az Samad's fingerstyle short course than from 6 years of classical guitar classes. Az has an incredibly technical ear and vast knowledge of technique which allows him to give lessons that improves your guitar skills from the very beginning. The lessons are structured in a way that allows you to learn new things at a comfortable pace yet flexible enough to accomodate musical experimentation.You'll also produce an original composition by the end of the course, and be equipped to produce many, many more."
Lutfi Hakim, Percussive Guitar Course Student, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia


Here’s how my lessons have helped previous/current students:

"Can't wait to practice guitar and add these tools you've given me into my songwriting. You're an AMAZING teacher and guitarist, hands down!"  
Grace Sng, Emerton Records Artist, Vancouver, British Columbia


"I learnt more than I ever did in the past few months with my previous guitar teacher simply because he (Az) can effectively get the message across while keeping the subject matter simple. You won't regret it!" 
Arthur Song, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


"We all know that Az is a great guitarist, but he's an exceptional teacher. Learning guitar with him totally exceeded my expectations. It's not just his attention to technical detail that improved my playing. He adjusted the teachings to my current level of skills and, most importantly, taught me what I want to achieve. Within the first two lessons, I understood the guitar better than I ever had before. I no longer need a chord book. Best of all, I now have the freedom to compose new chord progressions, experiment with new sounds, play around with fingerstyle dynamics, and take my songwriting to a whole new level! Songwriting has become fun again :) Anyone who (like me) has been frustrated writing the same kind of songs over and over again will find new inspirations after learning with Az. You won't regret it."
Lisa Zahran, Singer-Songwriter, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


"Az Samad is a wonderful musician and teacher. He is familiar with a vast array of guitar styles and techniques from classical to contemporary. What's more, he knows how explain the guitar in simple terms."
Eli Harrison, M.Mus. student, San Francisco, California.


"Az has a flawless technique for teaching guitar concepts, and is one of the top guitar players in the Bay Area. I highly recommend him for lessons or gigs!"
Keith Hunter, SJSU Music Education and Trombone Performance major, San Jose, California.


"Az Samad is not only an incredible performer but has the ability to explain the techniques behind his phenomenal playing. His knowledge expands from Classical to nearly every contemporary style under the sun. Along with his teaching skills, Az has the ability to truly inspire his students to be outstanding musicians. Mr. Samad's teaching style is perfect for beginner, intermediate and advanced students!"
Alex Upegui, SJSU B.A. in Vocal Performance, San Jose, California.


"As a student of many guitar instructors, Mr. Az Samad stands among the greats. His humble and patient approach, along with a wide breadth of knowledge, combines to create a perfect learning environment. Mr. Samad has an innate ability to pinpoint problem areas and focus your practice in a way that is enjoyable and highly productive. Simply put, a lesson with Mr. Samad is a truly 'Azesome' experience."
Mason Hutchinson, SJSU Undergraduate, San Jose, California.


" My lessons with Az has turned out to be one of the most valuable and worthwhile experience throughout all the time I've spent on the guitar. It is not just the instruction of technique but the impartation of his experiences, thoughts & observations, interjected with humour and good advice that sets him apart from the rest. Highly skilled and an excellent teacher, Az is a must for anyone looking to improve themselves as a guitarist. "
Aidan Chung, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


"Az Samad was born to play teach and play the guitar! He is a natural! His style of teaching is easy to understand. Each time I met with him I was amazed at how easily he could get his point across. Every time I asked him a question in class, he was always knew the answer. Az is an excellent teacher! He is patient, kind and an expert at his craft! You will do well to learn from him."
Barbara Ramos, SJSU Music Education Major, San Jose, California.


"As a private student of Az, I can simply say that no other private lesson I've attended was as comprehensive for both practical & theory. Not a single minute was wasted. The session I attended filled me full of new knowledge & vision that I later applied to my very own music. 

Az was so helpful that he was even willing to let me organize a group workshop for my guitar community, ACPickers. Everyone who attended the workshop had nothing but good things to say and were satisfied with the overall output! I'm already looking forward for the next one which is coming soon at the end of the year!

Az is not only a great performer - full of sense of humor but also great educator who is willing to teach and share all that he has learnt and experienced!"
Yowech Yong, Guitarist and Music Teacher, Malacca, Malaysia.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What kind of acoustic guitar should I bring? What type of pickup is best for this style?

Any steel-string acoustic guitar will do - I can recommend specific ones depending on your budget. 

I've used different pickups on different guitars, LR Baggs, AERs, K&Ks, Fishmans etc. It depends on what you're looking for. Typically, some kind of piezo or contact pickup in combination with a mic pickup works for this style. 

Can I use a classical guitar for the class?

If you like, you can also use a nylon string guitar. One of my students in the first batch opted for this. Although more challenging for some of the techniques (and low tunings), you will still be able to learn all of the material. 

Do I need to do any traditional sightreading for this course? 

There will be some notated examples but it will come with tablature and fingerings too. The course will be hands-on, less about reading and more about getting the techniques and concepts together. I'll help you step by step! =)

What are the prerequisites for this course? Do I need to have a certain song repertoire?

The prerequisite is some playing experience - no song repertoire needed! We'll build the repertoire and skills during the course! 

Where will the classes be held? 

Classes will be at my apartment in Bangsar, walking distance from the Bangsar LRT station. I will e-mail you the exact address and directions before the first class.

How many students are you taking for the class?

For the first enrollment (January to April 2012), I’m taking only up to 5 students for this course.

In the second enrollment (September to December 2012), I'm taking 5 students as well.

For the third enrollment (April to June 2013), I'm taking only 3 students.

In the fourth enrollment (September to December 2013), I'm taking 3 students.

In 2014 and future enrollments, I'm taking 3 students for each enrollment. 

Why so few students?

For you! I want each of my students enrolling in this course to really learn and be successful in their fingerstyle guitar adventure! 

To do this, I need to give attention to your individual challenges in learning this style of music. Also, by teaching you one-on-one, you get personalized lesson pacing with the course material! Some parts of the course may be easier for some of you. Some may be more difficult. This way, you get the whole course that mirrors your natural learning pace. =)

How long is the course?

The course runs for 3 months, with a 2-hour class every two weeks. 

The main reason I’m offering the class like this is to allow you to really learn the new techniques well before the next class. Also, because most of my students have busy schedules, this allows optimum time for you to absorb and practice what you’ve learned. 

How much is the investment for this course?

You could spend RM115,000 a year and study at a music college in the US or Europe to have access to the kind of amazing teachers I’ve studied with. 

You could easily spend RM10,000 or more to just attend a 5-day guitar workshop in Europe (and study with three to four of the teachers I’ve studied with). I’ve done that before and would recommend it if you can. But, I know that most people aren’t ready for that.

Or, you can enroll in this course and get:

Contemporary Fingerstyle Guitar Course (Version 2.0)


You can choose between two options:
Complete Payment (Save RM460) : One-time payment of RM2,420
Installment Payment Plan: Three monthly payments of RM960 (Total fees: RM2,880)

Enrollment is limited to 3 students only. I look forward to help guide you in your your fingerstyle guitar adventure.

If You're Ready To Take Your Guitar Playing To The Next Level,
If You Want World-Class Fingerstyle Guitar Instruction,
If You Want Personalized Paced Lessons That Focus On You,

To book your slot, send me a message here: http://www.azsamad.com/contact 

Please include:

I look forward to hear from you. =)

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